Child Custody: How courts determine the best interest of the child

When courts are hearing custody disputes, the court looks at what is in the “best interest of the child.”  The court weights 12 factors to determine if placing the child in a certain environment will be within that child’s best interest.  M.C.L. 722.23 defines what the 12 best interest factors as follows:

(1) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.

(2) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.

(3) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.

(4) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

(5) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.

(6) The moral fitness of the parties involved.

(7) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.

(8) The home, school, and community record of the child.

(9) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.

(10) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.

(11) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

(12) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

If you have any questions on child custody please contact David Lutz at (248) 624-5500 and visit our website at


Leave a comment

Filed under Child Custody, David Lutz, Family Law

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s